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Eagles News: All eyes on Gardner Minshew

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 12/20/22.

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Philadelphia Eagles v Houston Texans Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

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Can the Eagles count on Gardner Minshew to maintain their top NFC standing? - ESPN
Is Minshew an effective QB stopgap? Hurts has been performing at an MVP clip. His prowess as a runner (he has 13 rush touchdowns, just one behind the all-time single-season leader for quarterbacks, Cam Newton) has made life hard on defenses while his improvements as a passer (67.3% completion rate, up from 61.3% in 2021) have made the Eagles offense explosive. Still, Minshew is set up well for success. The offensive line ranks seventh in pass-block win rate (64 percent); Brown (first, 94 rating) and Smith (12th, 77 rating) are the highest-rated receiver combo in the league, per ESPN’s metrics; running back Miles Sanders is fifth in rush yards (1,110) and rush touchdowns (11); and the defense is tops in pass rush win rate (53 percent), sacks (55) and interceptions (15). Nothing can take away from Hurts’ accomplishments this year. But with 41 career touchdowns to 12 interceptions and 22 starts under his belt, the 26-year-old Minshew has proven that he can get the job done. And he’s never been better set up in terms of a supporting cast.

Why Eagles aren’t worried about starting Gardner Minshew vs. Cowboys | Nick Sirianni: ‘He can ball’ -
“This guy is a great backup quarterback who could be starting on teams in this league,” Sirianni said. “He doesn’t need a lot of reps. He’s ready to go because of the football IQ that he has. He’s ready to roll when his number is called. He can ball. I think he’s proved it.”

How will Jalen Hurts’ injury impact the Eagles with playoffs approaching? - The Athletic
Minshew is a capable backup quarterback. How many No. 2 quarterbacks have a 41 to 12 touchdown-to-interception ratio? He went 20-of-25 for 242 yards and two touchdowns in his start against the Jets last season, and that offense didn’t include Brown at receiver. So I think they can win at least one of these next three games if needed with Minshew, but this obviously makes Saturday more difficult. The Cowboys are good enough to beat the Eagles even with Hurts in the lineup, and Philadelphia presumably won’t be as good without a top MVP candidate at quarterback. That’s why the betting markets adjusted accordingly. So I’d be less optimistic this week — and would expect more Sanders runs, of course. But I like Minshew as a backup and short-term bridge to a healthy Hurts. (I suppose a Minshew start against Dallas would at least test Micah Parsons’ theory about Hurts being a system quarterback …)

Eagles vs. Bears: 13 winners, 6 losers, 2 IDKs - BGN
Ultimately, Hurts helped lead his team to victory, as he’s mostly done this season. He came through in crucial moments and made some great throws with fantastic touch. There continues to be a feeling that this team is never truly in trouble with him at the helm. Even if things aren’t going so smoothly, one expects him to find a way to turn it around. This performance didn’t help his MVP case from a statistical perspective but it did illustrate his value by contrasting how the Eagles looked when he wasn’t playing well (trailing due to early offensive struggles) versus when he was (establishing a lead to help them win).

NFC Hierarchy/Obituary: Week 16 edition - PhillyVoice
When you lose your MVP candidate quarterback with a sprained throwing shoulder, that’s never good, but the Eagles probably couldn’t have picked a better time for it to happen. With three games remaining and Hurts likely out for at least two of them, the Birds only need one more win to wrap up the 1 seed in the NFC, and one of those games happens to be against a team the front office will be highly incentivized to beat in the New Orleans Saints. Assuming the Eagles can wrap up homefield advantage by Week 17, Jalen Hurts will have plenty of time to get right for the next game that will really matter, which will be in the divisional round of the playoffs either on January 21 or 22, more than a month away. For now, the Eagles are 6-point underdogs in Dallas this Saturday. That almost feels disrespectful to Hurts’ supporting cast. There was a lot of talk about whether Hurts’ MVP-caliber season was merely a product of the incredible talent around him. It will be interesting to see if any of the analysts propagating that theory also think that the Cowboys will beat the Eagles on Saturday because Hurts is likely out.

The Day After – Jalen Hurt - Iggles Blitz
Even if the Eagles lose to Dallas, they only need to beat the Saints or Giants to clinch. Those are winnable games with Gardner Minshew at QB. Heck, Dallas is a winnable game with Minshew. The Eagles still have a ton of talent. Hurts helps this team to play at an elite level, but the team won’t disappear without him. And Minshew is the kind of QB who I can see loving the chance to start on national TV on Christmas Eve in Dallas. That’s the kind of situation he will relish. I’m sure Hurts will want to play. The Eagles need him to be smart and focus on the postseason. Get healthy. The team will be fine for a couple of weeks. This isn’t Carson Wentz getting hurt in 2017. This isn’t Donovan McNabb getting hurt in 2002. Hurts will miss a couple of games. He was able to play through the injury yesterday, but there is no reason to risk any further issues. Rest up and come back in a couple of weeks.

Eagles escaped disaster but must be more careful with Hurts - NBCSP
So it’s understandable that head coach Nick Sirianni and play caller Shane Steichen want to take advantage of Hurts’ running ability. He’s such a weapon and such a playmaker when the ball is in his hands. His running ability opens things up for Miles Sanders and it opens things up for the passing game. But this year it’s been too much, and this isn’t just a reaction to the shoulder injury that’s likely going to sideline him for at least the Cowboys game. It’s something we’ve been saying all year. It’s too much. Hurts has taken a beating this year, and Sirianni and Steichen have to do a better job balancing his unique running ability with keeping him as safe as possible. Because nothing is more important than getting Hurts to the postseason healthy, and this injury could have easily ended his season.

Diving Deeper Into the ‘Desperado’ Mode That Keyed Chandler Jones’s Incredible Play - SI
Regulars here have heard me talk and seen me write ad nauseam about how the greatest strength of this year’s Eagles, now 13–1, mirrors the greatest strength of the 2017 team that won the first Super Bowl in franchise history. And that’s the strength of both rosters along the lines of scrimmage. All year, we’ve had examples of how Philly’s putting that to work. On Sunday, I came across a stat that might bring the best example of it—the Eagles had six sacks in a third straight game for the first time in the 90-season history of the franchise. “We say it all the time, man, we’ve got great position coaches and Coach Wash [Jeremiah Washburn] and Coach T Rock [Tracy Rocker], they’ve been a big help from the things that they give to us from an IQ standpoint or drills,” Haason Reddick told me postgame. “We got great timing on that D-line. We got some guys that, when given the opportunity, can really get after it. And like you said, there’s no falloff no matter who comes in there.” The depth piece, to be sure, is an important part of it. There were nine guys rotating through on the Eagles’ defensive front, no one playing fewer than 11 defensive snaps and no one playing more than 44 (Reddick and Josh Sweat played that much). And because of that, like Reddick said, they keep coming and get harder to handle as the game goes on. The Eagles will be a handful in January and February (health permitting).

Spadaro: Welcome to Dallas Week, one with so much at stake -
There was no celebration after the win in Chicago, per se. Oh, the Eagles acknowledged a job well done in beating the plucky Chicago Bears on Sunday at Soldier Field, but the mood was reserved and the understanding of where they were took hold: Dallas Week started immediately and with that, a very short week to rest, recover, and prepare for a Christmas Eve game that means so much. “Got to win. That’s all. Get a win,” said wide receiver A.J. Brown after his 9-catch, career-high 181-yard performance against Chicago. “Do whatever we got to do. Get our bodies prepared. Get a win. Big division game. You know it means a lot. Up for the challenge. Let’s go.” This is a team that has been perfectly focused all season, that does not take the “bait” when there is an invitation to talk trash or to look ahead or to dream of what might be. The Eagles have a singular purpose that has been coached into their daily mindset by Nick Sirianni since the day he arrived: Focus on today, make yourself better today, think only of what you can do to make the team better. Today.

NFL Week 15 Fantasy Football Recap: Chicago Bears vs. Philadelphia Eagles - PFF
Don’t worry about Miles Sanders: Sanders was held under 50 yards and didn’t have a touchdown after scoring five touchdowns in the previous three weeks. Sanders didn’t have a touch in the first quarter, which was largely because of scripted pass plays and runs by Jalen Hurts. This led to two short drives, which were the Eagles’ only plays of the quarter. Philadelphia played more third downs and had more snaps during two-minute drills than usual. These are situations Kenneth Gainwell has played all season and continued to play in this game. His other problem was Hurts ran the ball 17 times. It was the 25th time in NFL history a quarterback ran the ball 17 or more times. Hurts has six of those 25 games, trailing only Lamar Jackson, who has eight. No other quarterback has more than two.

NFL playoff picture: Who can clinch a playoff berth, who can be eliminated in Week 16 - DraftKings Nation
The biggest news of the week heading into the schedule is Jalen Hurts’ shoulder injury. The Eagles QB could miss two or more weeks and that could end up costing the Eagles the No. 1 seed. Gardner Minshew would replace him in the starting lineup, and while a capable quarterback, he’s a significant downgrade. The Eagles are three games up in the NFC East, so the division title is still there’s for the taking. But their two game lead on the Vikings for the top seed is a little dicier.

Cowboys will prepare for Jalen Hurts and Gardner Minshew this week - PFT
The Cowboys are preparing for both quarterbacks this week. “We’ve already looked at our last game of the year with Gardner, so we’ll be ready for Gardner and Jalen,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said Monday. “We’ll be ready for both quarterbacks.”

The Cowboys are running out of steam at the worst time - SB Nation
It’s not so much that the Cowboys fell to the Jaguars on Sunday. Hell, Jacksonville is a team on the rise and one to watch in 2023, it’s more that Dallas is a team that deserved faith, and have managed to more or less squander it over the last two weeks. This team showed weakness in Week 14 when it almost lost to the Texans, a team that shoots itself more in the groin repeatedly, and then followed up with this loss to Jacksonville. Second place in the NFC East should have been slammed shut, and now there’s a chance (albeit small) that either the Giants push their way past the struggling Cowboys and into the playoffs.

Cowboys setback in Jacksonville was weeks in the making, new injuries cause concern - Blogging The Boys
Injuries continued to pile up for the Cowboys in Jacksonville, with the loss of Leighton Vander Esch adding to an already banged up defense missing Anthony Brown and Jourdan Lewis. Both Moore and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn have adjustments to make for a team still going to the playoffs, and their next chance to show something is in just six days against the now 13-1 Eagles.

Hey, the New York Giants have a real honest to goodness pass rush - Big Blue View
Don’t look now, but the Giants suddenly seem to have their most fearsome pass rush since the NASCAR package days of Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka. Since second-year edge defender Azeez Ojulari returned to the lineup three games ago, the Giants are second in the league in sacks with 12, an average of 4.0 per game. They are also second in the NFL in sack percentage at 10.62. Ojulari had a team rookie record (I know, I know Lawrence Taylor) 8.0 sacks last season, but he never had a stretch in 2021 like the three quarterback-terrorizing games he has had since returning from his latest quad injury. Over three games, Ojulari has 3.5 sacks, six quarterback hits, 15 total pressures, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Over that same stretch, Thibodeaux has two sacks, three quarterback hits, 10 pressures and Sunday’s strip-sack/forced fumble/fumble recovery for a touchdown. Go back four games and the rookie from Oregon has 19 pressures in that span.

Commanders Wild Card Watch - Week 16 NFC Playoff Projections - Hogs Haven
In short, Washington can control its own destiny by going 3-0 and finishing as either the 6th or 7th seed, based on what happens with the Giants. If the Commanders finish 2-1, they would still get in as the 7th seed unless either the Seahawks or Lions finishes the season 3-0. If they can’t win 2 of their final 3 games, then the chances for a playoff seeding look pretty grim. The Commanders need to help themselves by getting a win against the 49ers on Christmas Eve.

Kirk Cousins and the History of Mega-Comebacks - Football Outsiders
Lost in all the chaos and insanity of New England’s loss to Las Vegas is that Nelson Agholor might have had the worst game of any wide receiver this season. Right now he’s neck-and-neck with the game Diontae Johnson of the Pittsburgh Steelers had against Cincinnati in Week 1, but the difference is only a few decimal points and could easily change based on opponent adjustments in the next three weeks. But Agholor’s only catch went for 3 yards on second-and-10, and even that was caught 2 yards behind the line of scrimmage with 5 yards after the catch. He also had incomplete targets on third-and-goal from the 1 and on second-and-6. And yes, one of those targets very nearly resulted in a 32-yard catch, but it was reversed to an incompletion after replay review.

Monday Football Monday #119: Michael Peterson on Chargers playoff best case scenario + Week 15 Recap - The SB Nation NFL Show
Bolts From The Blue’s Michael Peterson stops by to share his thoughts on the Chargers best case scenarios for the playoffs and provides updates on Joey Bosa and Rashawn Slater’s returns. Later in the show RJ Ochoa and Pete Sweeney run through all of Sunday’s Week 15 NFL Action.


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